STAN & OLLIE - Resurrected
This was supposed to be Filler Night. Find something, a movie or show that can kill 30 to 40 minutes before falling asleep. Then never bother me with whatever it was
Thought HULU's Stan & Ollie, starring, respectively, Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly would be just that.
It was anything but.
There are caricatures and there are characters.
Steve Coogan IS Stan Laurel. John C. Reilly IS Oliver Hardy. If the Academy wasn't so damned interested in patting itself on the back every year, they might have noticed the ACTING jobs turned in by these two. They'd have also noticed an homage to two of the greatest comedians ever by director, Jon S. Baird.
Baird navigates the end of the careers of both men as they make one last attempt at resurrecting (ahem) their standing at the top of Hollywood. A nasty split by the duo in 1937 sent them spinning off in different and disastrous directions. By the time they reunited, World War II cast a lethal shadow over Los Angeles and America. The team never recovered.
Or did they?
In 1953, English promoter Bernard Delfont (Rufus Jones . . . Academy, pay attention) books them into a series of small theaters in the U.K. The boys, the consummate pros, play to less than half full houses, but do so with aplomb and brilliance. So much so that within a short time Delfont gets them headlined at the Lyceum, and to sellout crowds.
But alas, Oliver Hardy's health fails, and some old wounds are reopened throwing a metal rod through the spokes of this Model T of Momentum. The tour ends prematurely.
Or does it?
Stick with this one through the end. You'll be treated to a Best Supporting Actress worthy performance by Nina Arianda as Stan Laurel's hilarious and supportive wife, Ina.
And ya just might be treated to the greatest love story since Dr. Zhivago.